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Events Calendar

December 4, 2021  Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade


The Airedale Terrier Club of Metropolitan Washington, DC


50th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade Information


NOTE: This is the latest information which includes instructions from the event organizers, The Campagna Center.


The 50th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade is at hand! As a member of the Airedale Terrier Club of Metropolitan Washington, DC (“ATCMW”), Airedale Terrier Rescue of the Virginias (“ATRVA”), or just an Airedale lover, we want to extend a warm welcome to you and hope you will join us for the parade. Please read on for important event information.


WHAT: Members of the ATCMW and ATRVA will be parading with other groups adorned with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, playing the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, including Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs (that’s us but perhaps better described as dogs from the United Kingdom and Ireland), dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and much more. All dog breeds (pure and mixed breeds) originating in the British Isles and their handlers are invited to participate. It is a great chance for your Airedale to strut their stuff, do a few tricks, and receive adoring cheers from the people of Alexandria.


WHERE: The parade begins at South St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and concludes at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The parade will take place rain or shine. Please see the attached parade map for the parade route.


WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2021. The parade starts at 11:00 AM and groups are asked to be in place by 10:00 AM. Realistically, you can arrive between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, but parking and getting to the staging area will become more difficult approaching start time. Look for members Wilder Leavitt, Mary Morningstar and their Airedale Juno who will be in place by 9:30 AM.


WHO: All ATCMW members, ATRVA members, friends of the ATCMW and ATRVA, and of course, Airedale terriers (pure and mixed breeds) are invited to participate.


COVID-19 PANDEMIC PRECAUTIONS: The Campagna Center (the organization that hosts the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade) and the ATCMW strongly recommends unvaccinated marchers and those marching with children to wear masks during the parade. The Campagna Center is encouraging participants viewing the parade to spread out along the length of the parade route, practice social distancing, and wear masks when maintaining a safe social distance is not possible.


RESTROOMS: There are a limited number of restrooms available for parade participant use at The Campagna Center headquarters (418 S. Washington St., Alexandria VA 22314). The bathrooms at Lyles Crouch Elementary will not be available to parade participants this year. We recommend planning ahead as restroom availability may be scarce for the duration of the parade lineup and procession.


GENERAL DOG HANDLING GUIDELINES: So that we all might have a fun and safe experience, please keep the following best practices in mind. Please use a standard 6-foot leash on your dog during the parade and avoid retractable leads which can get tangled in the close quarters of the Old Town streets. During the parade, position yourself and your dog behind the ATCMW banner. The banner bearers will be setting our parade pace and will stop frequently as needed. Enthusiastic onlookers, especially children, will want to reach out and pet your dog along the route. This will typically happen without warning and there may be other dogs as well along the route watching the parade with onlookers. Anticipate this and handle your dog accordingly. If you and your dog wish to interact with the crowd, by all means do so. But be aware that your Airedale can get overwhelmed with all the attention and he or she may need a break from the petting and hundreds of hands reaching out from the crowd. If you think your dog might become overwhelmed by all the activity, simply parade him or her close to the centerline of the road. Be advised that some groups who are marching ahead of us will be throwing candies and other treats to the crowd. Some of these items invariably remain strewn on the parade route tempting our dogs to lunge for an easy treat. Again, paying close attention to your pup will help prevent an unfortunate ingestion issue. There will be musical groups, loudspeaker announcements, drums, and other errant noises. Most dogs do very well with the stimulation. The excitement and interaction with other dogs and admirers during assembly time usually inures them to the activity once the parade starts. Finally, if at any time you feel like the parade is getting to be too much for you and/or your dog, simply step out of the parade anywhere along the route. You and your dog’s welfare are our primary concern. The event should be fun for all and the moment it stops being fun for you and/or your Airedale is the time to call it a day. Keeping these best practices in mind has resulted in a highly enjoyable and successful event in the past for those who have attended.


STAGING AREA: Each parade group has an assigned position in the parade lineup, which will be given to them at check-in on the morning of 4 December. After Wilder checks in, he will be given the block number to report to for staging. When you arrive, please look for the ATCMW banner, other members with their Airedales, or ask an event organizer for assistance to find our staging spot.


PARKING: The event organizers have designated the Lyles-Crouch Elementary School parking lot (530 S. St. Asaph St., Alexandria VA 22314) for parking ONLY for specialty vehicles like trolleys, antique cars, floats, band equipment, and livestock. All other parade group participants are responsible for finding their own parking. There are garages available at Market Square, Union Street, or S. Pitt Street if you are arriving before 9 a.m., as well as limited street parking outside of the parade route and set-up area. We encourage you to carpool, Uber, or use Metro/King Street Trolley or other forms of public transportation. Information on the trolley, route, and hours of operation can be found at http://alexandriava.gov/Trolley

The 50th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade is at hand! As a member of the Airedale Terrier Club of Metropolitan Washington, DC (“ATCMW”), Airedale Terrier Rescue of the Virginias (“ATRVA”), or just an Airedale lover, we want to extend a warm welcome to you and hope you will join us for the parade. Please read on for important event information.


FESTIVE ATTIRE: The parade organizers request all those marching to dress in traditional Scottish or festive holiday attire, but please do NOT dress as a Santa character. Santa appears at the end of the parade as part of the program for children. Airedale marchers will look more like a “group” if everyone can wear black and tan attire.


BANNER: Wilder will be bringing the ATCMW banner to the event and we will carry it at the head of our group during the parade. We would like two volunteers who will not be handling a dog to carry the banner. If you would like to be a banner bearer, please notify Wilder Leavitt at [email protected] or notify Wilder or Mary during the parade staging period.


RUFFS: Club member Jeanne Esmond has created and supplied a number of ruffs for wear by our Airedales during the parade. Members Wilder Leavitt and Mary Morningstar will have the ruffs and will hand them out on a first come, first served basis at the Staging Area. They will also collect the ruffs at the end of the parade so we can use them again in the future. Please be sure to return the ruffs to Wilder or Mary as soon as we finish the parade so we can use them for next year’s event.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Please feel free to photograph members and their Airedales and share them with the group. Any suitable photos sent to the ATCMW will be posted on our Facebook wall and the ATCMW website. Please send all photos to Wilder Leavitt who will make sure they are publicized. Please include any captioning you would like to be included when published. Wilder’s email is [email protected]


Scottish Christmas Walk Parade Staging Area

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